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tv   Reliable Sources  CNN  April 29, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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coverage during the presidential primaries was mitt romney, and the worst? barack obama. >> no other president in american history has dispairaged this country quite like barack obama. >> we'll examine what's behind a surprising new study. the president gets all kinds of flack for his gig on jimmy fallon's late night show. >> i'm president barack obama. and i, too, want to slow jam the news. >> was it really such a far-out move? are you consuming too much junk on-line? having trouble controlling your habit? we'll talk to the author of "the information diet." plus -- >> okay. what about that? >> i don't know how to make love to you anymore. >> ew. >> i was told you were getting an std test. >> do you really think that sounds like a lot of fun? >> the huge wave of media hype surrounding "girls" on hbo has
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left a bitter backlash in its bake. how did one program become a cultural battlefield? i'm howard kurtz, and this is "reliable sources." >> if you think of all the shots the pundits have taken at met romney in the last few months, stiff, can't close the deal. s you hardly expect that he got the most favorable coverage in the republican primaries, but that's exactly what happened according to the project for excellence in jurmism. here are the numbers. from january through mid-april romney's media coverage was rated 39% positive, 32% negative, and president obama just 18% positive, 34% negative. to be sure, romney took his share of knocks in the media. >> but governor romney has problems of his own. he has perceived as being out of touch with the regular folks and has not been able to convince conservatives he is one of them, and his personality is kind of laid back. >> such comments, though, were
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outweighed by ones like these. >> he has a better campaign. he had better ads. >> romney is bringing it back to the economy because that's where he will win. >> i thought of this the best speech that romney has put together so far. >> i think romney has found his message. >> as for president obama, he has been hammered week after week. >> not a good week for president obama. the agency that protects him under fire. the agency representing the country on the battlefield, under fire. the agency that oversees government agencies, under fire. >> i think barack obama has essentially given up trying to persuade the majority of american people to re-electric him as president. i think instead he is trying to persuade a minority to turn out disproportionately and re-elect him president. >> so what accounts for the huge disparity between two candidates? joining me now here in washington rachel sclar founding editor of media-ite and change the ratio. >> mark, director for the project of excellence in journalism that did that study,
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and david prom, news week and the daily beast, and author of the new e book patriots, which will be released tomorrow. mark, it sounds counter intuitive. that's the reaction i got from a lot of people. the so-called liberal media gave obama much more negative coverage than any of the republican candidates. how can that be? >> well, one of the things this report did was it sort of looked at the structure of the campaign ad. you have to think about that. basically when you are doing well in a campaign and when romney really started turning his necessariage around is when he started defeating his rivals. good -- winning begets good coverage. >> and lose sng. >> lives losing begets bad coverage. the president obviously wasn't running against anybody during the primary period so, what made up the media conversation about him? for one thing during the republican primary, five, six, seven candidates in debates in the newspapers every day, all of them criticizing some aspect of the obama policy. that's volume. that's what the american public are hearing. the other piece of it is that, frankly, you know, he is also inextricably linked with a
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number of issues that aren't necessarily going his way from the rise of gas prices, which was a big story, to the shaky economic recovery to the renewed judicial review of his legislation and health care. >> he is not just a candidate. he is president who takes knocks in that regard. >> this study showed there wasn't one week during that time period when obama got more positive than negative coverage. is that surprising? >> it raises some questions. i don't want to be disrespectful about the methodology of these studies. if you say -- oh, my gosh, gas prices have gone up, people are really suffering, and gas prices have gone up and people are really suffering, in what sense is that an unfair coverage? when you say that these things are negative, you are maybe covering a very negative external reality. romney's reality was positive. he was winning elections. he was besting rivals. what he was in the field of terrain that was available to him, he was succeeding. the problems that president obama is contending, he is at best struggling. >> i am glad david raised that because that's something i should have said from the outset.
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this is not a study of bias. a negative contation or a negative assertion about a candidate does not mean the press is being unfair to them. it means he is involved in a negative story, and there are usually reasons for it. >> somebody in a journalistic capacity has to say obama is responsible for taking the hit for vulnerable on rising gas prices. >> correct. >> and the same thing goes for the win and losing narrative. romney's coverage wasn't great. a few percentage points higher of positive than negative, but as mark pointed out, when you start winning primaries and there's so much horse race coverage that, wow, this candidate is really on a role, that's deemed positive as well. >> well, i think it's a degree of positivetivity that's important here. i really never heard anyone on the television or in present anywhere enthuse about mitt romney. the praise, even that you showed was at best it was about it's good for him to talk about the economy and he has excellent ads. i think that that's indicative of sovr the luke warmness with
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which he has been received and i think even his own party we haven't seen anybody who even wants to touch being a candidate for vice president. marco rubio is, like, no, no, i couldn't possibly. jeb bush -- >> but even though many republicans on those debate stages were attacking president obama, don't journalists have responsibility to provide balance in their reports, or are they just passive conveyors of these partisans? >> i think if are you talking about things like covering debates as events, you are not usually going to get a lot of context. you know, to what people are saying. it's often treated, frankly, as a kind of sporting event. it's treating classic horse ace fashion. you don't tend so see journalists vetting the statement. that's more for the fact checking aspect of the paper that people don't read about. >> romney performed billion in the dwee baits. it's when he is unscripted that he runsz into trouble. >> that also gets hyper
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argumentative. you have this horrific economic crash at the beginning of his presidency. from which recovery has been expected. each time it looks like recovery is going to materialize, it does not. or it turns out to be very weak. 2012 looks like it's going to be another weak year. is it the job of the press to keep saying, well, there are a lot of factors to bear in mind when assessing the president's responsibility for this did hes appointing performance? is that not biassed? also, mitt romney should not relax. what's going on here is what you call jab, jab, hook, that he is getting a little bit of -- a little love tap now, but the hook is waiting for him. the haymaker is in the background. he will be hit hard. >> is it the responsibility of the press to cover the president like that. nuance and all sort of the context and factors that may weigh into -- >> we're not going to call you crazy. it's a very civil show. let's switch sports analogies, i suppose. the usually you get nine innings as a candidate. newt gingrich seems to have had about 16. is he in the process of finally
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dropping out. is he going to make it official on tuesday. have you ever seen a candidate get so much media attention for slowly leaving the race? >> well, truth be told, in our report on gingrich, he literally in the four months of this year only had one week where he really generated enthusiasm for his candidacy. and that was the week when he won in south carolina, and then quickly it ended in florida, and romney -- excuse me. gingrich of all the candidates really carried the most baggage with the media because of his tenure as speakership, because of his personal life. he had a very difficult time overcoming those. >> and they went so negative. >> well, it would -- those -- the press weren't very talkative for newt. yet, there is this continued fascination, i would arg ushgs in the media. ron paul wasn't winning primaries, and he got off the radar screen. >> gingrich is the ultimate washington insider. he is part of the city. everyone knows him socially.
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they know much more about him than makes it into the press, and this is sim boy on theic relationship. attacking the press is still talking about the press. the press lots of people who talk about the press. >> hit me again. >> hit me again. >> because i'm so interesting. >> i'm a big star. one more thing, though, i think the press is also covering gingrich not just as a political story, but as a human story. this was a man who is saying he was going to run a campaign, and he ran one of the ugliest and worst and least successful and least -- to see this person that had been so important in the city descend in this way, that is a tremendous human story. >> also the least controlled of the candidates. >> we like that. we don't like overly -- >> i think that's one of the reasons why there's a fascination with gingrich. right out of the gate after iowa he focused all of his energy on romney and, like, hated him with a burning intensity of 1,000 suns. >> let me go back to romney, but this time to ann romney because she has been going out in some of these programs like "entertainment tonight" and "extra."
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more accessible in a way on a national basis than her husband has been. here's some of what ann romney has been saying. >> mood swings and the ups and the downs in life and we have our battles. as all marriages do. >> what was it about mitt to -- >> right away. bang. wow. i mean, it was right away. >> i he is a very funny guy. he doesn't comb his hair when we're not going place. it's like all over the place. >> so mitt romney is not going to go on "e.t.," but his wife can use that in those kind of shows to get a message out. >> it's kind of a true message because these candidates are so removed from the public. one of the things is here are someone who has known him intimately for 43 years xshgs she's crazy about him, and a candidate that has an enthusiasm gap, what is it about you that someone could be this crazy about you for so long? >> given ann romney relatively soft treatment compared to, say, hillary clinton and michelle obama when their husbands were running. >> oh, well, from what i
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understand the candidate's family members are off limits. funny how that didn't happen to bill clinton in the 2008 campaign. yes. right now ann romney is being treated with kid gloves, but i don't think there's any reason to do much more than that unless she comes out as a forceful voice of policy and starts being a surrogate for her husband. like on policy issues. she's a very effective surrogate for him right now. human side. they're getting to know him through her. all of that is great, and especially after hillary rosen's comment which in and of itself was extremely fair in that she was commenting on whether or not -- zeets not relitigate that. >> about whether or not she should be speak about women and the economy. however, the sum total of that was that nobody wants to lay a glove on ann romney, and why should they? >> it's typical for a candidate's spouse to get kind of feature story treatment? >> at this point in the campaign it certainly is. the other thing we found in our study was that romney himself was the most vetted of any of the republican candidates,
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meaning there was the most attention to his personal life and his public record, but what was it that people learned about romney sf he is extremely wealthy. he didn't want to release his taxes on time. what was pain capital all about, and he is a mormon. this is an attempt to fill in the biography. >> let me get a break here. when we come back, conservative commentators beat up on the prosecutes president for doing his thing on jimmy fallon's show. really? all those celebrities at at last night's correspondents dinner. is this what news organizations are reduced to? president obama took a few shot at the assembled journalists, including this one about the huffington post winning a pulitzer prize. >> you deserve it, arianna. there's no one else out there linking to the kinds of hard-hitting journalism that huf-po is linking to every single day.
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presidents and presidential candidate are hardly an unusual sight on late night tv these days, so it was the barack obama showed up on jimmy fallon's
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program. >> i'm president barack obama, and i, too, want to slow jam the news. ♪ >> on july 1st of this year the interest rates on stafford student loans, the seam loans that many of you use to help pay for college are set to double. the position is that students just have to make this rated, frankly, i don't buy it. >> hmm, hmm, hmm. the barackness monster ain't buying it. >> you know who else wasn't buying it? many pundits. >> i do not agree with the highest office of the land, the most important figure in the world going on these comedy shows. i think it lowers the status of the office. >> we have so many issues and
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problems going on in this country, around the world, and you can't swing a cat without finding president obama on a talk show. >> the republican -- aid to get the attention of young voters last night on late night with jimmy fallon. >> from 20 years ago bill clinton played the sax on ars ino hall. what's the big deal about him going on jimmy fallon? >> candidates go through all kinds of degrading experiences. but -- >> clinton as president talked about his underwear on mtv. >> that was a big -- people really were shocked by that. >> what about this? >> what has happened here -- so it's -- i had qualms about it too, but i think what we're also realizing is there is nor eric -- or walter cronkite, and that the media landscape is changing, and it is probably unrealistic to expect politicians not to adjust to it. one more thing i think is
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happening. we are living through a fiscal crisis that has very different impacts on young people and elderly people, and the elderly are responding by mobilizing and the young people are responding by demobilizing. guess who is losing? i can kind of understand why a president who is looking to a young audience that's trying to reach in this way, but it's different, and all -- the precedents that are being cited are all about candidates, not about sitting presidents. >> rachel, let me play a short bit of sound for you from another late night program. >> number nine -- >> i can't begin my day until i have read the washington post and kim kardashian's tweets. >> yes. >> mitt romney on letterman. conservatives don't like it when obama did sd it. dade says he is president. it's okay -- >> outraged that mitt romney would appear on a comedy program. that's unbelievable. >> and read the countdown. >> that's complete had ok si. when the clip you showed were from fox news and lawrence o'donnell talking about the outrage coming from fox news. it's very clear where the -- where the outrage is coming
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from. >> right, but it generalrily is on the right, which tends not to be friendly to anything president obama does. from what david just said, it's the media landscape that's changing. now it's important to be on twitter, on four square. the obama campaign is on tumbler. these are interests. these are all different ways to reach. by the way, that's very effective messaging. that fallon clip has been all over the place. we're still talking about it. >> it's pretty viral. >> it's bringing the student loans issue into spotlight. this is what they wanted to do. >> this is a long history now of presidential candidates and presidents going on these pramdz programs. >> richard nixon went on "laugh in" and said sock it to me. he is saying it as a candidate. i think the narrative, everything is obviously going to be fair game for the political narrative now. to the extent that part of the nar ti is against obama is going to be sort of he is a celebrity candidate, which was the john mccain commercial 2008. >> yes.
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>> you see this beginning to develop now that may be kind of a theme that the republicans are going to wants. >> let's not have a false narrative. the one time a sitting president did something like this, george bush would be airing on deal or no deal. >> he did this. because he was aware, video clip, he wasn't there in person, and he was delivering a personal message to a veteran. this is a new thing. >> the speeches at the white house correspondents dinner, they are written by comedians, and he is essentially doing stand-up comedy, and it's all -- >> and every president has done that. >> there are video clips that are distributed on-line, which is a different landscape. >> first i want to mention barack obama has been on the daily show, and he gave an interview with rolling stone which he said john stewart's brilliance is amazing to me to the degree with which he was able to cut through a bunch of nonsense. the president also saying he doesn't want a lot of tv news and doesn't watch cable at all, but sde look at the major
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papers, wall street journal, washington post, "new york times", reads the "new york times" columnist, and andrew sullivan from the daily beast. another thing that happened this week is going to air on rock center this week is that brian williams of nbc interviewed president obama in the situation room at the white house. one-year anniversary of the successful assault on osama bin laden. does that trouble you at all? did northbound allow itself to be used by having that back drop? >> it doesn't trouble me. during the bush administration beginning sort of after 9/11 nbc did a day in the life of the white house, and these are transactions between networks and pole titicians that always happen. we have amazing visuals and in turn you give us the kind of coverage we want, and everybody understands the deal. there are a lot of people who would like to see what the inside of the situation room looks like, and i don't blame a network for making that information available to them. >> okay. you mentioned the white house correspondents dinner, which has become a huge spectacle. rachel, you were there last night. all with lindsay lohan and kim
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kardashian. >> with my girls. >> newsweek brought reese witherspoon who was i was delight to meet ask california governor jerry brown. allow is this i'm going to bring a bigger hollywood star than you have with the news organization competing. has this gone too far? >> it depends what the purpose is of the event. if the purpose is to raise money as the dinner is one of the purposes to raise money, and -- >> it's sort of -- you have this big collection of people from all over the place, and a whole bunch of different constituencies around this issue, and you have them on the highest level and the lowest level, and this is how relationships are built, coverage is made, people rise much, and stuff comes out of it. you need to have people put together in one big petree dish. >> then presidents use their comedy routines as a way of taking veiled or not so vailed shots of the opposition when you
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are working the bush white house and you help president bush do that along with professional comedians. but he can't be too sharp edged. you have to make it funny, right? >> well, this year the president was unusually sharp-edged. you could see -- he is sort of getting past the point where he is going to pretend to like any of these people. his jokes this year were -- last year he went -- last year he was very tough. he had that donald trump exchange, but he was really provoked. i mean, that was the situation where you had sitting in front of you somebody that had gone around the country saying you were involved in a giant conspiracy to deceive america. he would be super human if he didn't hit him back. this time he was not -- he is -- you know, this was not self-depreciating humor. this was aggressive humor. >> you weren't there last night. you were watching baseball. does it look to the outside world like journalists are too posey sitting along side celebrities? >> i'm not even sure the outside
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world cares about it. i hate to say it. >> the over absorbed -- >> there was more baseball watching last night than the conversation about this. and i honestly do think that to the extent -- we know that the public has sort of a lot of antipath where i -- >> a bunch of insider. >> i think they are part of the big institutions and sort of this log rolling. it doesn't help. >> they need to build up trust. right? it's about building relationships and building trust where, that happens -- >> it looks cozy, but it's just one night. thanks for joining us. coming up, why is that new hbo show "girls" getting so much komplg, and what about the backlash over whether it's racist. i did not want to think about that. relax, relax, relax. look at me, look at me. three words, dad -- e-trade financial consultants. so i can just go talk to 'em? just walk right in and talk to 'em. dude, those guys are pros. they'll hook you up with a solid plan. they'll -- wa-- wa-- wait a minute. bobby? bobby! what are you doing, man?
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the new york magazine cover story had never really let up as author of emily wrote. from the moment i saw the pilot of "girls" was a goner, a convert. in an office of hbo, my heart split up. i laughed out loud. it's four young women in wrook brin talk a lot about sex and have a lot of sex. >> seriously, nothing flakeyer known in this world than not showing up to your own abortion. >> i have never had sex. >> really? >> you're bleeding.
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>> oh, my god. >> so what accounts for this media counter assault on the show, and is it worth all this attention? joining us now in chicago maureen ryan, television critic for the huffington post, and anna holmes, the washington post and the founder of jezebell.com. what accounts for this insane level of media hype that surrounds this show before it even aired? zoo kind of touch on it with emily's new york magazine cover story. there are a lot of other pieces, big ones, and publ kegs like the "new york times", but also because it's a show that hasn't really existed before. certainly there have been a few shows like "sex and the city" which was also on hbo, about four relatively young women, but this one is a bit grittier, a bit more honest, edgier, deals with topics like sex, romance, finding one's way in the world professionally, and we haven't
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really seen this sort of treatment before. >> maureen ryan, when a tv program receives that much media attention, does it become inevitable that there will be a backlash of people criticizing it saying it's not so great? >> oh, definitely. there's definitely always going to be a mismatch when there's that much praise. you have to keep in mind critics saw three he episodes typically of the show before anyone else saw any of it, so when people tuned in and it didn't do their taxes for them and wash their car, they became, like, this is not the greatest thing ever. so there was some disconnect, i think, between what critics were sort of seeing and feeling, but i definitely agree with anna that part of the reason for the hype was this was a voice and a perspective that has not typically been seen on tv, which i think in some ways led to the backlash. people aren't trained to expect this kind of perspective. sfoo part of that backlash, of course, a major theme that bloggers and other critics are writing about is this is about four white women, and it's taking a lot of criticism on that racial front. >> yeah. i don't know if someone took the criticism at least that i have
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seen has been about the four leads being white. i think it's been more that some of the secondary characters or cameo appearances by people of color have been somewhat -- they've been scarier types of characters. only two episodes have aired. >> let's keep that in mind. >> the third one is airing tonight, but, you know, a lot of the criticism that i was seeing was coming from people who had seen at least the first three episodes and if not more, and we're commenting on things that we -- that the regular public hasn't seen. again, i'm not so sure at least my problem is with the fact that the four main characters are caucasian. i think it's more some of the secondary characters and cameo appearances. >> right. maureen, i have seen a number of people take a shot by saying that, you know, is this show really reflecting the diversity of new york city by having these four white women. if you look at history from seinfeld to "sex and the city" there's a lot of white ensemble shows. i'm trying to understand why
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this one is being singled out? >> i think it's really -- you know, there's some of that. i mean, diverse bohemian enclave, there should be more diversity, and she said she will address that. >> she's the director. >> she's the creator-director. i think there's certainly issues that could be addressed in the show. as anna points out, there's been two episodes of this that have aired, and i'm someone who has written a lot about the lack of diversity not just on screen, but in the sort of creative trenches of television. there are very few few mail create oz that get to put a show on air. there are very few, you know, a lot of shows have all white casts. for me the overwhelming attacks on the show to some degree i think it's just people know that sexism is theoretically wrong and that they shouldn't attack people in that necessarily -- in that way necessarily, so they're finding different avenues with which to attack a woman, a young woman at that, who got a very
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privileged platform to share her perspective with the world, and, you know, it's not acceptable to just use the kind of typical sexist aefdz that people have used in the pst. i think to 134 degree it's jealousy and just a lack of understanding of how a woman, you know, so young and is sort of untested got this prominent hbo platform, which is very unusual. my thing is i would love to see all these commentators and critics come back and attack this issue in force, you know, in september when shows that are 90% white characters on camera, 80% created by white men, when that happens this fall, where are all these people going to be? are they going to be fighting the good fight, or will they still be grumbling about one show on hbo? >> right. i'm still shocked that the critics engage in jealousy. i have to recover from that. you touched on this earlier, but the show obviously has a strong female point of view, female creator and director. i'm trying to wonder whether all
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the sobero-cultural analysis that we engage in glosz over the fact that people like watching programs that have a lot of sex. >> i don't know if the sex depicted on "girls" is the sort of sex that we enjoy watching. >> because it's not glamorous. >> it's not glamorous. i essential enjoy watching it because it seems very honest and very real. it does push the envelope. it's wince-inducing. it's no holds barred. i'm not sure that it's titilating. i don't know if maureen wants to jump in here, but i actually just wrote about the sex on "game of tloenz" and how it is titilating. >> let me get maureen back in. you write that a lot of tv shows are created by middle age, upper middle class heterosexual white men. obviously this one is different. >> well, that's the thing. people are saying, well, she's privileged. she has this sort of background. the actresses are all relatives that are families. >> like ryan williams' daughter, for example.
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allison williams. >> all the people who have shows on hbo are connect and have big hollywood connections. this is a very common thing. i really think that "girls" does represent a diverse viewpoint in that its young people affected by the economic krasz trying to find their way, and to me that's a valuable voice to have that female perspective. something is raunchy and strange as louie ck's show, but from a different perspective. that's worthwhile. >> after only two episodes, i have a feeling this media debate will continue. thank you for joining us. >> up next, a glamorous new york movie premier. the paparazzi, what was i doing there? director ] cut. cut! [ monica ] i thought we'd be on location for 3 days -- it's been 3 weeks. so i had to pick up some more things. good thing i've got the citi simplicity card. i don't get hit with a fee if i'm late with a payment... which is good because on this job,
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political movies arpt very much in the news these days. well, i was at new york's tribeca film festival with a premier of "knife fight" which rob lowe plays a ruthless and cynical political consultant. the movie was not coincidentally co-written and produced by democratic strategist chris la han. jamie chung is lowe's deputy eager to learn the ugly business, and julie is an aggressive television correspondent. now, i had more than a passing
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interest in this film, which will be out in the fall, since i play a very small part. so there i was at this red carpet event, and there were hoards of photographers and reporters, and it was hard to know where to look. very strange to be on the other side of the velvet rope peering out at the press pack. in the film jamie clung wants to leak some damaging information about an opposing candidate and is meeting with a series of reporters. i portrait a rather self-important blogger. i am not playing myself. of course. this is acting. >> take this on deep background. just follow the money. it's straight back to perkins. listen, i'm doing this favor so you don't get beat again. >> you did all the legwork. but you definitely did not get this information from us. >> now, this story is yours and yours only. remember, whatever you do, don't source back to us. >> and remember, this is embargo at 7:00 a.m. first on-line. >> you are not giving this to anyone else, right? let's face it, my blog drives the cable coverage. all the insiders come to us first.
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>> no, absolutely. you got the first pop. >> this is going to be more than a pop when i heard about this story, i had a blogasm. >> now you get multiple blogasms. >> i had a few more lines, but they somehow vanished. i'm not quitting my day job and have to move to l.a., but it was fun watching a movie be made with all the endless retakes and flubbed liens from the insiders. >> after the break if you are feeling information overload, perhaps you should go on a diet, an information diet. talk to author clay johnson about his new book. to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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>> anyone who spends time on-line can find a virtual feast of information. lots of tasty tidbit that is amount to empty calories. why is there so much of that, and how can we improve our nutrition? the case for conscious skupgs, and he joins me now here in the studio. welcome. >> so in this book early on you write about the aol wave. the rules at aol. the rule says it is the job of the writer to produce popular content as cheaply and quickly as possible. is that troubling to you? >> yeah. i mean, i the same thing that sort of happened with food. our food companies have said we've got to produce cheap, popular food, but it's not particularly nutritious, and the result is obesity rate of 35% of
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the united states in america right now. which children that are dying quicker than their parents were many some cases, and that's really scary. i think the same thing is happening with news. if you have a news company producing cheap popular information but not particularly what it is that we need to hear, then how do we get the pentagon papers? >> you say that aol and companies like that, they chase what's trending, what google or other search engines tell us is hot, and then they tweak their headlines to try to attract more traffic. >> that's right. they ab-test their headlines. they come up with five or six different headlines per story, and figure out what people are clicking on and then that's what they'll run with. our clicks end up being votes. our clicks have consequences. that's why part of the information diet talks about having an ethical consequence of what it is we are taking in. >> when you were remp, you were looking at the huffington post, which you write about, and you kept getting distracted by videos of lindsay lohan or a video of the oldest female bodybuilder who is 74. you couldn't help yourself, huh? >> we don't have -- it's, again, a lot like food. if you put a pile of broccoli
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next to a large pizza, it's going to be really hard to just always go for that broccoli when that pizza is sitting right there. >> you yourself went off the diet. >> oh, yeah. i talk a lot about this. the information diet has ruined my information diet and the research. >> you say that many media outlets now on-line have resorted to what you call churnalism. the churn of pr releases being rewritten and posted as original content? >> yeah. i mean, the number of pr professionals throughout, people who are basically paid to tell you what it is that you should say on your show, has increased by 100% over the past three years. they try, but lots of -- that's been a surge. while the number of journal is has actually declined in the united states. there's this even journalists have their own information diet problem because there's so many people trying to get your attention. >> right. but there are a lot of news sites that have a lot of good,
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solid reporting and information, and even the huffington post, which uses as an example, just won a pulitzer prize for an original ten-part series, so if these other things that you describe as less nutritious are popular, how can -- how do we blame the media companies for giving the public what apparently it wants if clicks are votes zoosh there's a difference between what it is that people want and what people need. that's why in my book we really talk about this as a public health concern. not as a media reform concern. i think it's time to really start thinking about it that way because our information consumption is something that affects our psychological and sometimes physicianlogical well being. the average person is spending 11 hours a day of consuming information right now. that's -- in america. that's -- they're not doing that on the treadmill, right? they're doing that while they're sitting down. >> you're the michelle obama of the internet, trying to persuade people -- >> i'm trying brsh. >> trying to persuade people to make better choices. >> i'm trying. >> you stay that roger ales
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really changed cable news with fox. fox news, you say, spends 72% of its budget on programs and host salaries. msnbc 88%. cnn 44%. what does that tell us? >> it tells me that cnn pendz a lot more money on -- i don't want to be too friendly to cnn now that i'm on cnn, but cnn spends more money on journalism than it does poernlts, and that's indicative of a lot of things. one is that, well, personalities are a lot cheaper than a newsroom. >> they may make big salaries, but it's not the same as spending money on 30 reporters to roam around the country. >> right. people tune in more to a personality than they do facts because oftentimes a personality is going to tell people what it is that they want to hear rather than the facts, and who wants to hear the truth when they who wa truth when they can hear they're right. >> fox news is a top-rated cable news channel. you did digital strategy for barack obama's campaign last time. so is that your political point of view influence your view of fox news?
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>> you know, i wouldn't -- the could have other of my book is a nutritional label, read it closely, says i'm 100% biased. so of course -- >> 100% biased and also say that people are biased in the sense that they would seek out, let's say, fox and msnbc, points of view on cable that agree with what they already believe. >> people want to seek out confirmation. because it is not anybody's fault that is because of who we are. we are wired that way. like we are wired consume salt, fat and sugar, also wired get affirmation. >> sounds like you are going up against human nature, whether it is getting distracted by clicking on lindsay lohan or whether it is watching cable news, already fits the barack obama profile f your diagnosis is information obesity, i mean, how realistic is it to get people to go on a diet? >> i think a key to well being. being on an information diet does great things for you, gives you more time. you start spending more time thinking about your spouse and your family than you do the president and his family, then
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you are going to have a richer life. you're also going to live longer because you're going to spend a lot less time consuming -- if you are not consuming 11 hours on a couch of information. >> you are touting some health benefits here. >> yeah. >> you are not only saying make smarter choice bus the kind of journalism or entertainment or culture news you seek, you say turn it off more? you think we have become too absorbed by damage et cetera and smartphones? >> turn it off more but set some priorities for yourself, going around the country talking about this book. the obesity rate here and no one knows. no one knows. any crowd they've ever talked to what the obesity place is in the place they are standing. i ask who was kim kardashian's ex-husband? everybody knows. there it is in one-sentence soundbite. i hope you lost weight as you went around the country. clay johnson, thanks for joining us. still to come, our program is dragged the investigation of the fox news mole rupert murdoch grilled over his media scandal and how nbc's apology in the
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trayvon martin case failed to reach a crucial audience. the media monitor, straight ahead. malnature valley sweet & salty nut bars. ♪ [ camera clicks ] ♪ it's hard to resist the craveable nature of a nature valley sweet & salty nut bar. i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn. [ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw!
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time now for the media monitor, our weekly look at the hits and errors in the news business. the saga of the fox news smell not over. man that then authorities served joe mood do dough, the bill reilly producer fired by fox for leaking to the website "gawker" at his home. this is an excerpt from my program. >> you accepted $5,000 from gawker to serve as the fox mole. does that make you look like more of a weasel? >> i'm not going to comment on any financial arrangements that i may or may not have had with gawker. >> his reaction, he described the unfolding seen on twitter. i just got search warranted at 630 a.m. by a very polite crew from the d.a.'s office, took my iphone, laptop, some old notebooks n a reference to another murdoch media property, deet funt british news of the world, should have done something more innocuous like hacked a dead girl's phone and interfered with a police investigation.
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mood dough's tone could change if they determine he exchanged fox property for payment. in the second round of testimony before a british parliamentary panel, the media titan, while testy at times did not try pass the buck about the hacking scandals that hit sky news and led him to close his news of the world tabloid. >> i have to admit that some newspapers are closer to my heart than others. but i also have to say i failed, someone took charge of a coverup, which we were victim to and i regret. it was an omission by me and all i can do is apologize to a lot of people, including all the innocent people of the news of the world who have lost their jobs. >> i would say that news corps dodged a bullet at these
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hearings. murdoch may have been embarrassed by the so many high level contact we had politician and prime minister bus neither rupert nor his son, james, knew about what the boss now admits was a coverup with e-mails. nbc apologized for its terrible fwlirntd misleading he had doifgt the 911 tape in the try von martin case which made george zimmerman appear to vol run tetter fact that the unarmed teenager was black and the network fired the producer involved. what nbc didn't do as david carr points out of "the new york times," was correct the error where it took play, the "today" show, with its huge audience. asked about the glaring omission, he was told you are probably right. all too common practice in television, apologize off the air but not correct mistakes on the air, why carr was right to call out nbc. elsewhere at nbc, hard ball's chris matthews portraying mitt romney as backward on science issues when he used a most unfortunate phrase. >> it wasn't an issue in the
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primary. >> let's go. the grand wizard crowd over there. anyway, look -- >> wait. i resent that. now you come on what is this grand wizard nonsense? >> far right party. >> saying we are ku klux klan. don't go there with me on that. >> okay. great. great. okay. good. >> that reference to a kkk leader was way, way out of bounds but rather than waiting a week as nbc did matthews noted moments later that he hadn't meant to say grand wizard. an apology might have been nice as well. that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." join us again next weekend for another critical look at the media. up next, a candy crowley's interview with house speaker john boehner on "state of the union." listen, if the election were today, i'd be very optimistic. >> you're looking at the view from the best seat in the house.
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